10 Traits of Highly Effective Project Professionals
Experienced project management personnel are in great demand throughout Australia. It can be both difficult and time-consuming to find the right staff for a project, big or small. Experience is crucial for project management because PMs must learn to deliver quality alongside time and budget commitments – thus, they have many different opportunities to practise their skills around the country.
When you choose to partner with MetaPM, you have the comfort of knowing that you’re hiring ‘more than a body in a suit’. Our practice-led approach not only ensures our team are expert project professionals, but also have access to global best practice project knowledge base/s and IP and other expert practitioners and SMEs to provide support, assurance and advice, as required.
In addition, we’re confident we will identify ways to reduce the project costs and risks, through the use of our proprietary IP.
Regardless of whether you engage MetaPM or not, how do you know a certain PM is really cut out for the job? Project management requires a versatile mix of skills. Many PMs excel at one or two things. Only a few of them are strong all-around performers who know how to keep a project team on track toward the milestones that will move your strategy forward.
Let’s look at some of the key skills highly effective project professionals should have.
1. Big-Picture Thinking
A project leader needs to be able to see the big picture in terms of personnel, time, and resources. Those who realise the best results on a consistent basis understand the power of delegation. By knowing when to step back and when to step in, the PM empowers the rest of the team to reach their highest levels of performance.
Communication is the biggest part of what a project manager does from day to day. Depending on the project management framework they use, they may be expected to lead the kick-off meeting, a weekly meeting, or even a daily meeting. Whatever the case, they must be crystal clear in writing and in person, keeping the whole organisation on track.
3. Ability to Balance Stakeholders
Project managers are responsible not only for their own internal team, but for the interfaces between their team and other key stakeholders. They may need expertise from other departments or functions to ensure everything goes smoothly. Sometimes, priorities will come into conflict, and the PM must do what is best for the project and the company as a whole.
4. Clarity on Strategic Outcomes
The project manager is effectively the keeper of “what matters most” in the context of the project. He or she must have a relentless focus on the expected outcome, while still allowing it to arise in whatever form the team is best positioned to deliver. There is never a wrong time to advocate for the vision.
5. Financial Acumen
Budgeting is one of the core skills any project manager must have. This allows them to maximise the return on investment from their resources and minimise overhead. In the event more money is needed, the PM must be able to craft a fact-based case and be the face of that case.
6. Understanding of their Team
Each person within a project team brings strengths and weaknesses to the table. While nobody is perfect, all contributors have the capability to grow and develop through the course of the project. The PM must understand the team roster inside and out – knowing the core skills of their subordinates and recognising opportunities to give stretch goals without endangering the project’s key outcomes.
7. Ability to Advocate at High Levels
The project manager speaks for the team at the highest levels of the organisation. That often means operating at the C-level. Any PM must be prepared to report their results, even if that means stepping into the board room. This also enables them to negotiate for the resources necessary to succeed.
The more sophisticated the project, the more vulnerable it is to external forces that are beyond the control of the project manager. The PM and team may be called upon to reassess assumptions at any time in order to route around roadblocks and reach the desired conclusion without delay.
9. Technical Knowledge
The technical knowledge PMs may hold is not the most important asset they bring to the table. That said, it can be both convenient and effective when a PM is also an SME. This allows them to mentor team members, understand their positions and constraints, and inspire their best work.
10. Knowledge Management
The project isn’t done when the final deliverable is complete. In order to continuously improve, all the lessons learned throughout the project must be properly documented. As the designated big picture thinker, it’s up to the PM to ensure no important insights are lost for future project teams.
Contact us at MetaPM to learn more about project management outsourcing that work, and for more information on how much a project manager typically costs, you can read our blog article on the topic here.